It’s easy to see why the Caribbean is one of the most popular vacation spots for those looking to escape the winter weather.
But what these travelers experienced in Punta Cana was far from relaxing. Eddie Zytner and his girlfriend, Katie Stephens, returned home from an exciting vacation at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana to find that their feet were incredibly itchy. The truth behind their itchy feet is enough to make you lose your lunch.
Initially, the couple wrote off the itching as nothing more than sand fleas, a common occurrence when you spend lots of time at the beach.
But when Zytner awoke one Saturday morning to find his feet were not only itchy but swollen, he decided to go to the hospital.
The doctors had no real explanation for the couple’s discomfort, and after being sent home, their conditions only continued to worsen. The skin on their feet started to swell and blister.
After multiple visits to the hospital, the couple was finally diagnosed with cutaneous larva migrans. This, the doctors believed, was the result of hookworm larvae entering their bodies while the couple walked around barefoot at the beach. Basically, they had worms in their feet.
Often found in the intestines of cats, dogs, and wild animals, the larvae make their way into the skin of humans when they come in contact with sand or soil that has been contaminated by animal feces.
Thankfully for Zytner and Stephens, the condition typically goes away without treatment, although antiparasitic creams and medication will help alleviate the pain.